Pride & Prejudice & Service Charges

It is a truth universally acknowledge that one should never disclose one's PIN number.

In the midst of writing a paper on Quirk Book’s literary mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I was happy to stumble across a six video VHS version of the A&E television serial of Pride and Prejudice from 1995. Having suffered through the zombified version, I’m not feeling inclined to re-read the original in its entirety, but the videos will help provide another angle to the theme of popular adaptations of Austen that my paper explores. And if you haven’t had time (or the inclination) to pick up the best-selling P&P&Z, never fear; in 2011 the world will be treated to Natalie Portman playing Elizabeth Bennet in the movie version of the zombie version of Austen’s tale.

The problem was, when I came across the A&E videos, I didn’t have any cash on hand. The thrift shop didn’t take interac, so I had to run down the street an use the bank machine of another bank than my own. I fully expected the $1.50 “convenience charge” they slapped me with, but what I didn’t expect was the “IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE SERVING YOU” message that the screen flashed when the transaction was done.

the pleasures of instabanking

This last truly added insult to injury. Just whose pleasure had it been to “serve” me? Surely there was no pleasure coursing through the circuits of the bank machine itself. The people who install and service the machines likely couldn’t care less either, and the tellers at the counter certainly weren’t getting any richer off the spoils of service charges. So it could only be the bank owners and shareholders themselves who took pleasure in skimming the price of a large coffee at Tim Horton’s out of my bank account.

I only wish that they would program those machines to perform the pleasure that they claim is inherent in the act of taking my money. I would really appreciate if, say, at each press of the machine’s buttons, moans of pleasure emanated from a speaker somewhere. These lustful utterances could mount in intensity, culminating in my pressing the “OK” in consent to paying the announced service charge. For someone with the technological know-how, installing such a machine could be an interesting exercise in hacksterism.


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